Yet another "Didn't Suck" list? Yes of course! This is Critical Writ's list of awesome movies for 2016! In case you missed it, we had a few samples of news earlier in the week, followed up by a mega list of kick-ass comics. Stick with us this week to also get our list of TV and Games that didn't suck in 2016.
Disney’s Moana was perfection. This animated film is about a young woman from a Polynesian island that has to answer the call of the sea to save her people. Everything about Moana is awesome from a feminist point of view: a brown woman, with lush crazy-beautiful curly dark hair, heir to the position of chieftain of the tribe, and someone who actually gets to be a hero, instead of watching someone else do things. The soundtrack to this film is gorgeous, especially with star Auli’i Cravalho’s fabulous vocals, with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda. For the last few years, Disney has been diversifying its films, and Moana was easily one of the best efforts so far. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. (Ivonne)
It’s amazing to not only see two animated feature films from Disney in 2016, but to have both of them be amazing pieces of art and tell stories that needed to be told, is unprecedented. In addition to Moana, there's this: Zootopia takes the world of talking animals, and tells a crime story. But this isn't just any average crime drama; it tells a timely story of prejudice, both systemic and internalized. It’s brave of its creators to show one of the main characters as not only suffering from biases, but as guilty of them herself and becoming aware of her own shortcomings. That’s something we needed this year. (Dominik)
Star Trek Beyond was a pleasant surprise for me. Unlike the previous two movies in this particular version of the Star Trek universe, Beyond genuinely felt like it was crafted with fans of the original in mind. It had the original show’s heart and optimism for the future coming out of it’s ears, which I have needed in this shittiest of years. Also no gratuitous nudity. That was a nice touch. (Miz Opifex)
You might have missed this one, especially since it's barely managing to register as part of the tail end of 2016 (limited release on Dec 25, but wider release in January 2017), but you really need to see Hidden Figures. Taraji B. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae tell the real story of three black women scientists who were instrumental in NASA's first space missions. Most people have never heard of Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer), or Mary Jackson (Monae), but without these brilliant mathematicians, it's likely the US would have lost the space race. That's right, in 1962, we had three awesome black lady scientists who have mostly been obscured in American history. Hidden Figures tells their story, with powerful performances delivered by the leading ladies. (Ivonne)
And finally... we're a geek blog, so we would be remiss to completely leave out any and all superhero movies, right? Well, not if they all sucked, or were mediocre at best. But thankfully, in a year full of Marvel (Captain America: Civil War and Dr. Strange) and DC (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad), we have a clear winner in terms of awesome superhero movies, and it wasn't any of the ones I already mentioned. The Superhero Movie Award of 2016 clearly goes to Deadpool. Yes, it's filthy as hell, yes there are tons of off-color jokes, and yes the lead is a white guy (Ryan Reynolds), but Deadpool was hilarious and joyful and wicked fun. It helps that girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) was treated with respect despite originating as a sex worker, and that she wasn't entirely a helpless damsel. It also helps that one of Deadpool's sidekicks was badass Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), and that he lived with a blind and black lady (Leslie Uggams). So much about this movie was wrong, wrong, wrong, but so right. Most fans of the Merc with a Mouth would agree: this movie captured the character perfectly well. (Ivonne)
Did your favorite movies this year not make it on the list? Let us know what we missed in the comments!